Friday, 6 July 2007

TEAMORIGIN - Profile: Sir Keith Mills

In this edition of our series focussing on the key personnel behind Great Britain's bid for America's Cup glory, we turn our attention to Sir Keith Mills, business entrepreneur and TEAMORIGIN's founder & Team Principle. Updated 24/8/07

Name: Sir Keith Mills
Age: 56
Born: 1950, Brentwood, Essex, UK
Educated: UK
Lives: Tonbridge Wells, Kent, UK. Married (to Maureen) with 2 children.
Net Worth: £200 million (Sunday Times Rich List, 2007).

Business Career:

Early years: Sir Keith Mills began his business life at the age of 15 as a copy assistant in Fleet Street with The Economist and The Financial Times, developing in marketing/advertising sales capacities, before moving into the advertising industry.

1981: Led buyout of New York advertising agency, Nadler & Lorimer, becoming CEO of the agency, specialising in serving international packaged goods and service industries.

1987: As Air Miles International Group BV (AMIG), patented and trade-marked 'Air Miles' program prior to introducing the concept to British Airways, who sign up for exclusive UK rights.

1988: British Airways launch Air Miles in the UK.

1994: Sells Air Miles (UK) to British Airways, realising 50% of £10 million price. Sir Keith's Loyalty Management Group continues to represent and develop Air Miles internationally.

2001: Founded Loyalty Management UK.

2002: Loyalty Management UK launch Nectar Loyalty Rewards program.

2003: September; appointed International President and CEO of London 2012, the company founded to run London's bid for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

2005: July; London wins bid to host 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Has since established the LOCOG Organising Committee, remaining as Non-Executive Deputy Chairman.

2005: December; Recognised for his work in the successful Olympics bid by being knighted in the Queen's New Years Honours List (other recognitions in 2005: Business Leader of the Year, UK Master Entrepreneur of The Year, Marketing Week's CEO of the Year).

Sir Keith has previously been recognised with an honorary fellowship of the Institute of Direct Marketing (F IDM). He is active on the after dinner speaking circuit.

Sporting Interests:

In addition to his Olympics interests, Sir Keith is a Non Executive Director of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (appointed in 2006 once Olympic activities could not be considered a conflict of interests), and
is a member of the Royal Thames Yacht Club, having long been a keen amateur sailor (his first experience coming at age 9 when dingy sailing; skiing also counts amongst his hobbies).

Wins Clipper Round the World Yacht Race as crew member to youngest ever winning skipper, 25 year old Alex Thomson, to whom Sir Keith has subsequently provided much assistance, supporting one racing yacht (an Ocean 60, 'Hugo Boss') and establishing sponsorship opportunities; Alex describes Sir Keith as 'my friend, business partner and mentor'.

2002: Skippered private yacht 'Frequent Flyer' (Oyster 485) in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to St Lucia.

2006: Voted Sports Industry Personality of the Year.

2007: January: Launches bid to win the 33rd America's Cup, TEAMORIGIN.

2007: Summer: Receives honorary Degree of Doctor of Technology, Honoris Causa from Loughborough University, UK.

Who knows what future chapters will say of Sir Keith's sporting ventures; with his business acumen and achievements to date, there is much for Great Britain to hope for. We'll follow progress and report back.

Inset image: Photo © TEAMORIGIN

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